Salon on Barry, a Summit Salon, opened its doors in November 2019 after Joy Battaglia decided to take her 24 years of experience and build her own business.
Before opening, Joy was very concerned about how she would handle incoming calls for appointments without walking away from the guests she was styling. Especially with a new business, it was crucial for her to deliver the highest quality service to both current and potential new guests in order to build a strong reputation, which directly helps to grow her business.
However, while the Salon company was small she couldn’t justify the cost of a receptionist; she also preferred to handle all client communication herself while building her reputation in her local community.
Joy needed a way to answer incoming calls with the highest level of service without hiring additional staff. When Joy discovered Numa and its low flat monthly fee, she signed up immediately. Within hours, Joy began to see the benefits of Numa.
While styling guests, she no longer felt the need to walk away to answer the phone. Instead, she set up Numa to greet and respond to callers on her behalf. Numa saved Joy the feeling of worry or regret that not answering a call might mean missing possible new business. She was also relieved to have Numa help filter her calls, saving her from solicitors or spam. All Joy had to do was take a quick look at her phone or tablet to see who was calling and what they needed.
“The last thing I want to do is step away from a chair and handle calls from Yelp.”
Between guests, in her car, on the road, or even on vacation in Mexico, Joy could now answer time-sensitive calls and catch potential new guests. She knew that if a person called her for the first time, they were likely calling other salons, too. Often, they booked with the first business to respond. Joy uses Numa to make sure that she always wins that business.
“We have definitely gotten new guests. They might have asked 5 salons if there's availability. They're not having to wait to get a response. I've had good feedback from that.”
Numa helps ease the day in other ways, too. Tiresome phone calls to guests for appointment changes, last minute cancellations, and weather-related issues became a thing of the past. Rather than play phone tag, Joy spends a few seconds sending a text message from the Numa app and then moves on to the next task.
Additionally, Joy set up Numa to watch for any incoming messages from her website and Facebook page so she only has to check one app instead of multiple.
While building her salon and her brand, it’s critically important that Joy is able to control the communication and deliver a high level of service. It comforts her to know she can retain that control without having to be at the salon 24/7.
"I'm already there enough. I already practically live there. I can't be there 24/7 per day to be able to monitor what's happening in the business. Numa has helped me so much.”
While Numa was a savior for her, she was just as pleased with how happy it made her guests. Now they could enjoy the same convenience. She comments, "It boils down to being able to communicate. It's about communication. Everyone is very busy right now. Everyone wants to be able to multitask, including me. If my guest is sitting at his kid's basketball game and needs to change an appointment, he can do it!”
She even put a sign up in front of her salon that said, “Call or Text” with her number.
Joy was also thrilled that Numa works perfectly with her customer management and billing software. Using the AI, Numa is able to send a booking link to any customer that requests to book an appointment. Joy found it to be as effective as, and even faster than, any receptionist taking a call.
Joy explains, “People like online booking and it’s easy to give them the link with Numa. They like that they can do that any time. And when it's convenient for them.”
“It really has helped our business so much. I really didn't know how I was going to handle people calling, just starting out as a business owner. It helps us give better customer service."
Because Joy hosts stylists-in-training in her salon, she wants to be the first to know if the service ever isn’t up to guest expectations. She uses Numa to send a message on her behalf to new clients after their first appointment. Joy finds it’s much easier for guests to respond to a personal text than an email or survey. She really likes giving them an opportunity to feel heard, give feedback, and find a solution before going online and potentially writing negative reviews.
Joy can also use Numa’s reviews feature to send requests to leave positive reviews on sites like Google, and link to them in that message.
It’s all part of Joy’s laser focus on delivering the absolute best customer service. As a solo-owner, she is able to take on better and more efficient client communication in a fraction of the time and cost of having a staffed front desk.
“It absolutely pays for itself."
With Numa, callers get an immediate response, even if it’s after hours or Joy is helping another guest. Prospective guests, expecting to leave the Salon company a voicemail and wait for a callback, are pleasantly surprised to get such a quick response, which leads directly to them booking an appointment with her salon over a competitor.
Joy’s clients truly appreciate the convenience of being able to text for their needs instead of call. Since they too are at work or with families, it’s not always possible to call the Salon company during open hours. Guests have given positive feedback about being able to make or change appointments via text and receive fast responses from Joy, whether the salon is open or not!
While front desk staff can only handle calls during open hours, Numa answers, engages, and auto-responds 24/7. There is no question to Joy that the value she gets from Numa’s low monthly fee has paid for itself many times over.
For many business owners, there will never be enough hours in the day. Any extra time is extremely valuable, even if it’s used just for sleep! By eliminating the time listening to voicemails, returning calls, and playing phone tag, Joy considers Numa critical to her ability to get important tasks done as fast as possible.
Joy has used two different booking systems since opening her salon. With each system, Numa is a perfect compliment. While her booking system is wonderful for guest management and billing, it can not answer the phone or respond to calls with text messages, which is where Numa can close the gap. Whether via phone, Facebook, or her website, Numa sends links to incoming callers to be able to book and change appointments in her existing system.
Numa allows Joy to review the cadence and history of her salon’s calls and messages in her app. Combined with Google search data, this lets Joy notice trends such as spikes in people asking to come in on weekends. She now knows there is enough business to consider a part-time weekend stylist.
Similarly, she always sends messages out to new customers to get candid feedback on her stylists, since she knows how difficult it is for customers to tell the stylist directly. She likes that they know they are talking directly to the owner, and that she can resolve issues that might have led to negative online reviews.
While Joy would like to be at her salon 24 hours per day, like any owner she has a family and other obligations. With Numa, she never has to worry she’s missing important calls when not at work and is comforted knowing she can monitor and intercept messages from anywhere in the world.